Cool times with red fish
  |  First Published: July 2012

As the water temperature falls this month snapper will start to increase in numbers on most of the offshore grounds and they in turn become the target of most offshore anglers.

The snapper are getting ready to spawn and most well known reef structures off Moreton and North Straddie will see quality snapper putting in an appearance.

We’ve had plenty of rain again this year and the run off should have deposited plenty of tucker on the close inshore grounds, so with a little luck we should be in for a half decent season. Catches so far have been promising, so once we see some more settled weather it will be game on!

Most of the shallow grounds such as Shallow Tempest, the 29s and the grounds around Point Lookout are more productive at dawn and dusk or on days with some good cloud cover. The wider grounds such as the 33, 35 and 42 Fathom reefs of Moreton Island, plus Deep Tempest and along the deeper stretches of The Cathedrals south of Point Lookout will have a longer bite period for snapper. This means anglers should aim to move deeper as the day progresses and the sun gets up.

Float-lined pilchards and strip baits will account for the better quality snapper and soft plastics will take their share of the big fish as well. When float lining keep the sinker size to an absolute minimum and two ganged 5/0 hooks will do the damage. Just make sure any hook you use is super sharp. You do not have to see huge shows of fish on the sounder to get a good bite. Quite often all you need to see are a few flecks up off the bottom. And lastly don’t be afraid to work small isolated pieces of reef away from the main line of reef.

For anglers who want their arms stretched this month, amberjack, samsonfish and yellowtail kingfish will be worth targeting with jigs and livebaits. Look around the 35, 37 and 42 Fathom reefs. There is usually a fair population of large yellowtail kingfish on Shallow Tempest and on certain pinnacles on the 29s, but stopping them in this depth of water is sometimes impossible and big bust offs are commonplace. So be prepared to do a bit of gear if you are going to soak a livie in these areas.

There have also been plenty of mahi mahi around and hopefully this will continue into July. Mahi mahi are a great eating fish when bled and eaten fresh, but they don’t freeze well. Only keep enough for an immediate feed.

There is definitely a need for a few more FADs (Fish Attracting Devices) to create whole new fisheries and to help take the pressure off other fish stocks. Queensland Fisheries, along with the LNP, should be looking to fund strategically placed FADs along the coastline and really put something back into the fishery.

Enjoy your fishing, take care on the coastal bars and if you’d like to join me on a charter (Max 5 persons), give me a call at Outlaw Charters on 07 3822 9527 or 0418 738 750. You can also visit www.outlawcharters.com.au for a whole range of information.

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